Monday, September 16, 2019

My Finished Hei Hei Costume!

How YOU doin'?

I know a lot of you already saw our big costume debut on Instagram/FB, but lets make this official:


Or should I say, "Bu-CAAAAWK!"?


John and I put these together in about 5 days, just in time to go to Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom last Friday.  

I've already heard from quite a few of you planning to make your own Hei Hei costume for Halloween, so let me show you how I made the rest of my outfit, and link to the things we bought for John. Ideally you'll have more time than we did, and can add even more fun elements!

The most important part is the hat, of course, which I've already shown you how to make. (And I've already seen someone finished her own! Woot!)

My outfit was basic color-blocking, so look for yellow/orange clothes on the bottom and and teal/green on the top:

If I wear this again I think I'll layer a bright yellow tutu over the shorts, just for extra poof and giggles. I found a great one on Amazon for $13, so I've got that on standby.

My feather collar is made completely from craft foam, with a little ribbon to tie it. I used 4 different shades of orange and yellow foam; the more colors you use, the better it looks.

Start with a bib necklace shape, sort of like this:

Ignore the holes; I eventually realized I could hot glue the ribbon instead of knotting it, hah. You'll also want to trim the sides to be only as wide as the ribbon strap; these are too wide, so I had to cut them down later.

Cut a bunch of thin pointed slivers out of your darkest color foam, and arrange them into a pointed V like this:

You want the middle point to reach just below your bra line, or midway down your torso. Then angle the sides UP, so you don't get a weird boob shelf. If you don't have boobs to get in the way, then never mind this bit.

When you're happy with the length and shape, hot glue the slivers in place.

Now build up with your other colors, layering them over top of each other:

When you reach the top, use your brightest yellow strips to wrap OVER the neck line edge, gluing them down on the back side:

This will give you a clean edge and help strengthen the whole collar.


The collar held up like a champ for the 8 hours I wore it, and I only had to adjust it a few times when the strap from my cross-body bag shifted it to the side. I really thought it'd be destroyed by the end of the night, but this thing went through rain, sweat, and abuse, and still looks fresh as a feathery daisy. YAY CRAFT FOAM.

You can really see all 4 colors in the sunlight.

My Boat Snacks bag - which doubled as a purse AND a candy sack - started as a $4 canvas bag, also from Michaels. I forgot to take a 'before' photo, but it looked like one of these:

Friday, September 13, 2019

The Punniest Cosplays of Dragon Con 2019

I always love a good mashup cosplay, but if there's a pun involved then I am over the moon. Lucky for me, Dragon Con is THE place for clever and groan-worthy costumes, so let's take a look at what 2019 had to offer.


(This is Rebecca Buress - a friend and FOE who helped organize the Epbot meetups!)

And she's in search of the Winter Smolder! Ha!

The Sailor Moon Scots:

The two red pom-poms were my first clue, then as I got closer I spotted the Sailor Moon symbols on their kilts and the ribbons on their shoulders.


That's Davros/Bob Ross, for those of you rusty on your Doctor Who villains. On the back he has a Bob Ross painting that reads, "A brother from another mother," and "Happy little accident."

And speaking of everyone's favorite Time Lord...

Doctor Who:

TARDIS scrubs and a scarf stethoscope! Love it!
(This is Diane, another FOE at our first meetup!)

Stevie Wonder Woman:

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Quick Craft: Let's Make A DIY Hei Hei Hat For Halloween!

On Monday John and I found out we're going to Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween party this weekend (EEEE!) so we need some last-minute costumes. 

And I would apologize for posting Halloween content this early, but I feel like this is the crowd that's already shopping for new skulls and huffing pumpkin spice for breakfast, so... hopefully we're good. ;)

Now, John and I want something cool (it's still 85 degrees at night here), comfortable, and funny, so naturally: Hei Hei and Tamatoa from Moana.

These will be sort of extreme Disneybounds: still using mostly regular clothes, but then over-the-top, costume-y accessories. This is totally different from, say, Dapper Day 'bounds, because we're leaning WAY into the ridiculous as well as going for theme park comfort over style.

My inspiration: both in life AND for this costume.

I quickly found some comfy options in my closet for a decent Hei Hei 'bound:

(That's a tank top under the cardigan, which I would wear with the sleeves pushed up.)

Now to ACCESSORIZE - and get to the crafty part of this post.

I looked all over Google for Hei Hei hat inspiration, but everything I found was heavy fleece or crochet or built into a hood of some sort, which is all WAY too hot for Florida. 

So I set out to make something on a cotton ball cap, instead.

I won't keep you in suspense: here's a peek at the finished product:


Are you intrigued - or laughing hard enough - to keep going?


Let's begin.


John found everything we needed at Michael's for about $8: a red ball cap, one large Styrofoam ball (which I've already cut in half there), and sheets of craft felt in red, yellow, and purple.

The only other things we used - and already had - was a little batting, hot glue, and some stretchy white fabric. The white fabric is technically optional, but it looks better and also holds better, so I highly recommend it.

 For the eyes, cut the large Styrofoam ball in half, then use a craft blade to slightly hollow out the back sides, aiming to fit the curve of the hat. They don't have to be perfectly flush with the hat, but keep carving 'til you're happy with how they sit.

You can hold the eyes in place with pins through the underside of the hat.

(Also if you ever need to make a Fly costume, HERE YOU GO.)

At this point I've also covered each eyeball with a stretchy white fabric. (I flipped over a stretch velvet to use the shiny backside of the fabric, but spandex or stretchy nylon would also work.) 

NOTE: Make sure you hollow out the back side of each eye BEFORE covering them in fabric.

Covering the eyes with fabric is time-consuming but easy: just stretch the fabric around to the back and pin it, angling your pins towards the center of the eye so you don't stab yourself. Start with the four "corners", then work your way around:

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Some Bunnies To Love: The 2019 Dragon Con Bunny Hutch!

Every year Dragon Con kicks off Thursday night with the Bunny Hutch costume contest and party, where everyone is invited to dress as a fandom-themed Playboy bunny or "Heff". This is where you'll find some of the most hilarious and insanely creative fandom mashups of the whole con, making the Bunny Hutch a can't-miss, quintessentially Dragon Con affair. I mean, where else can you see a bunny Ponda Baba serving Blue Milk martinis?

Or Edward Scissorhands with topiary "ears"?

That's what I love about the Bunny Hutch; this isn't just folks throwing on a pair of bunny ears and a tail. These cosplayers go ALL OUT, pouring just as much love and craftsmanship into their Thursday night bunny suits as they do their Saturday afternoon showpieces.

Here's a bunny Wampa and Boba Heff:

You can just see her fuzzy Wampa leg warmers!

Effie from Hunger Games:

(It's hard to tell from this angle, but she has two gold bunny ears off to one side.)

I absolutely love it when the ears are themed to fit the character, like Shredders' blades here:

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

STORY TIME: Dragon Con 2019

If you've been following along in my Instagram/FB stories then you're probably a little sick of Dragon Con by now, heh, but I want to get all these thoughts and photos here on the blog, just for me.

So first, here's most of those Stories put into a video with fun music, courtesy of John and his editing skills. These aren't polished like our official daily vids, but they're still super fun and have some real gems not in our other videos:

(The FedEx sign from my preview pic had its own hashtag and shrine by the end of the convention, bahaha. Some people are already talking about cosplaying #FedExJohn for next year!)

Now here come some more favorites I didn't have time to post over the weekend.

My friend Alexie LOST HER MIND when she saw this woman in armor, but it wasn't 'til the guy turned around that I recognized them:

Willow! I need to watch this movie again.

A close up of my friend Avera Cosplay in her Maleficent WoW armor:

Avera is also the incredible Ursula bunny in my video up there, the one with the puppet Flotsam & Jetsam. Now lemme blow your mind: Avera is 6 MONTHS PREGNANT. Whaaaaaat. She's out here winning contests and working the floor like a Queen with a baby on board! MAD RESPECT.

This Fast Food group was so clever: 
My favorite is the Dairy Queen with her ice cream swirl hair! You can't tell here, but the giant cherry was covered in sparkles. 

More Fast Food lolz:


That moment when you find a flaming sword in the bottom floor of the Marrott:

 No one was around, but I think if I'd tried to touch it, I'd have received some kind of epic quest.

The prettiest use of ThinkGeek's Twinkling Stars skirt I've ever seen:

 Aren't they gorgeous together? I love these two!

Han Solo frozen in...comforter?

Monday, September 2, 2019

Dragon Con 2019: Our 10 Year Anniversary!

I didn't pack my laptop for Dragon Con this weekend, which is why I've been a little MIA here on the blog. (You didn't even notice, did you? OOF, the pain.) John and I are doing daily cosplay videos again this year, so every night John needs the one laptop we brought for video editing - meaning I can't get at it to ramble on to you guys about how much fun I'm having. Blurg. Again, just bad planning on my part.

I've tried to make up for the lack of blog posts with lots and lots of Instagram Stories, but I have so much - SO MUCH - to tell you guys, and it's just not the same. So while John's taking a shower let's see how much I can cram in here.

 A couple of favorites from my Stories.

I just realized this is our tenth year coming to Dragon Con, and so much has changed since then. For one, I think my photos are a little better now:

A photo from yesterday.

Back then I was so timid getting photos, always afraid to interrupt or yell to get someone's attention. I remember running around like mad, sliding in front of some awesome cosplayer on my knees - so I didn't block anyone trying to take a photo behind me - and then often feeling a pang of frustration and failure when they never looked at my camera. I saw all the "professional" photographers around me and envied their confidence, their ease at directing people and taking up that person's time.

This weekend, I WAS that professional photographer. Sure, I'm still not as bold or brash or loud as some others, but I'll happily yell to ask permission. I make eye contact. I take up space. I clap my hands and scream out "I love you" to total strangers. I even give photo directions now, asking people to move or drop their chin or swing a battle axe. And all the while, I'm having the time of my life.

Ten years ago I didn't know anyone, not at this convention or any other. I was an anonymous face in the crowd, fangirling over amazing cosplayers and wishing I knew people half as cool and creative.

This weekend John and I have been nearly mobbed by you guys. Even after two scheduled Epbot meets (one of which we had to move because there were so many of you), we've had dozens more readers find us and hug our necks, scream our names, give us gifts, or just yell "I love you." I've also lost count of the number of amazing cosplayers who, as we're taking their photo or video, suddenly say, "Jen? JEN!!"